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Some of us bloggers would like to make money blogging, and while it does take some hard work, it is completely possible. Here are some tips on how that works.
“How can I make money blogging?”– This question is invariably posed at me by budding bloggers as well as online media platforms.
The blogging space has transformed in leaps and bounds over the span of last few years. From being a niche domain which was nowhere near being considered as a reliable career path, it has evolved into a becoming a hot and burgeoning profession with ample opportunities to rake in the moolah.
Today, a blogger is not just a blogger but is a solopreneur handling different aspects of the blog almost single-handedly. However, as fascinating as this may sound, it is definitely not a cakewalk to make money blogging.
For some reason, there is a huge misconception amongst people that bloggers effortlessly make a large sum of money with each post or article. So, I want to bust this myth first up – you cannot run your home with the money from blogging alone till a certain point. And this “point” varies from blogger to blogger! For some it can be 3 months, for some 6 and for others, like us, it can take a year or two to get there. It all depends on the amount of time, money and effort one is ready to invest to make blogging a steady source of income.
With almost every second person venturing into this space nowadays and a host of choices available to progress, one can end up feeling lost and befuddled. Based on my own experience as well as the little nuggets of wisdom imparted to me by blogging stalwarts during my journey, I have listed down some tips which I hope would be beneficial for bloggers who intend to make money blogging.
While this may seem like an obvious point to make, I have come across bloggers who are doubtful about investing in their own blog and are more comfortable with writing for several existing platforms. For some, this hesitation arises because of not being too tech savvy and for others, it is a question of whether a blog is worth investing time and money on.
It is essential to understand here that having your own blog is necessary if you think long term. Your blog is brand YOU. It gives you identity, flexibility and a space which is your own. Having your own blog paves the way to earn money through a variety of methods which is not otherwise possible.
You do not need to be a technology expert to be able to build a blog. A plethora of user-friendly tutorials are accessible on the web which will make this process easier for you. We had purchased server space and our choice of domain name from GoDaddy because we liked the packages they were offering back then and had also read positive reviews of their customer support. The team helped us to setup our WordPress account for our blog and we took it forward from there. We chose WordPress because of its easy usage and open source code. It also provides flexibility and various plugin options that can be used to enhance the blog features. So, even though this may seem overwhelming at the beginning for someone who does have much technical know-how, systematic research and in-depth study will make you comfortable with it in no time.
If you want to make money blogging, you need to work hard towards building promising content first. This is where I feel a lot of up-and-coming bloggers tend to lose focus.
Whether we like it or not, the reality is that no one is going to start paying us right away when we start blogging because in this line of work, money follows once you have a significant reach to your credit. Follow the PCH Mantra of “Persistence, Honesty and Consistency”. Give yourself time to learn and improve your craft. A blog with value and substance will automatically attract readers and connect to them.
Now, one may ask – “How do we know what is quality content?” To understand this, ask yourself questions like
For your blog to be effective, your thoughts need to be conveyed in a cohesive and structured manner. It should leave the reader feeling enriched. The look and feel of the blog as well as the ease of navigation determines the blog quality. A blog visitor should feel welcomed when they land up on your blog link. I remember I had re-designed our cookery blog when I felt it was a bit messy and scattered and not attractive enough. Gradually, I did see a visible rise in the visitor count after I revamped it.
Just like having your own blog is important, it also helps greatly to write for popular online platforms. This aids in enhancing your readership as your words reach out to those who you may not be able to connect with via your own blog. You can mention your blog link in your account profile on these platforms so that readers can start following your blog posts.
However, refrain from being all over the place and instead focus only on those platforms which work for your style of content and writing. For example, posting travel blogs on a fashion and beauty website will not yield the desired results. So, explore and test the waters, and zero in on the right platforms for you with prudence.
Another advantage of doing this is that some of these platforms give you interesting sponsored opportunities once you have established your standing as a blogger. I will elaborate on this point later in this post.
This is one of the most popular ways by which bloggers monetize their blogs without impacting the user experience.
You can enable advertisements on your blog by implementing the code provided by different ad networks like Google Adsense, Chitika, Infolinks, Media.net and PopAds. Each works differently and has its own pros and cons. Some of them can be used concurrently on your blog, hence research well before taking a call on which one(s) to go for.
In my experience, Google Adsense and Media.net work best for Indian traffic. Every blogger eyes Google Adsense for blog monetization. A key benefit of Adsense is that it serves both CPC (Cost per click) as well as CPM (Cost per thousand impressions) which means the visitor does not have to click on the ad for the blogger to be able to earn money. Additionally, Adsense also does not have a minimum traffic requirement which makes it easier for newer and smaller bloggers too to place ads on their blogs.
In our case, a major reason we were keen to go for Adsense is that is provides different ad types and also shows relevant ads on the blog. We did not want to put off our visitors by showing them irrelevant ads which was our main bone of contention with ad networks like Infolinks and Chitika. However, when we applied to get our Adsense account approved for the first time, we did not succeed. Our application was rejected twice which is when we learnt that it is not easy to acquire Google Adsense approval. This can be frustrating, all the more because of their poor customer support which does not communicate anything more beyond the standard replies to issues/queries. In this regard, Media.net is a better option because it is relatively easier to get approval there with a better customer support. So while we went through the Adsense policies and guidelines in detail, in parallel we implemented ads on our blog through media.net. Eventually, we got the Adsense approval too and a combination of both these networks has been working well for us so far for our cookery blog.
However, even though Adsense is the best in the market, their rates are still not too high which is why at times, bloggers may not see monetary benefits immediately even after displaying ads on their blogs. The trick here is to experiment and figure out ways to maximize revenue. When we implemented the ad codes on our blog at the start, we assumed that image ads would work best and we placed them right at the end. However, this did not go as expected, so we increased the ad size and also included more than one ad unit type. We also changed the placing and made the ads visible for the visitor between the content. This led to a significant improvement in the earnings and from then on, we periodically keep trying and testing different permutations and combinations to make the most of the revenue from ad networks.
Affiliate marketing is also a fantastic way to make money blogging which involves adding links to relevant products/services in your content. In our cookery blog, for instance, the products used in the preparation of a recipe are linked to their purchase links on Amazon as a part of their affiliate program. So, when a blog visitor clicks on a particular link and ends up buying the associated product, we get a small share of the revenue from Amazon.
I cannot stress enough on the role social media plays in boosting a blog’s viewership.
A good number of bloggers who approach me for advice or help mention that they feel awkward to share their work on social media. The best way to deal with this is to treat this as a part of your work, which is exactly what I do.
Dedicate a time slot from your daily routine to social media activities which should include everything from sharing your work across different social media platforms to engaging with the readers who have commented on your blogs. With time, you will see a marked difference in your blog views once you start doing this on a regular basis. Always remember that your work will speak for itself but for that to happen, you have to put your work out there for it to be able to speak to the online content audience.
Conversely, avoid going overboard with marketing your blog and posts as it may put off the readers. Strike a balance and maintain a schedule. Also, do not get carried away and choose only those social media platforms that work for you. For certain kind of blogs, Facebook and Twitter give better results whereas for some others, Instagram and Pinterest might be a better bet. I am hardly active on Instagram because I have never felt the need for it and I don’t see any point in spending my energy on something just for the sake of it.
When I was offered my first sponsored assignment, I was not aware that social promotions done as an influencer is a great revenue source for bloggers. Bloggers, by the virtue of their work, have the power to influence lives. I realized then that this is something I could do by positioning myself correctly and being honest to my words. By positioning, I mean defining your area of expertise. This is an essential step because you cannot be an influencer by choosing to promote a baby product one day, a tourism package on another and a new lipstick in the market on some other day. I decided I was passionate about using my voice in the area of parenting and social issues and focused only on related promotions/campaigns. I went about this by networking with fellow bloggers and influencers through social media and various online blogging groups. This is a wonderful community where you will find immense support because most bloggers do share details of sponsored projects and events with others and believe in moving forward together. You can also collaborate with bloggers on different initiatives which might mutually benefit both the parties involved.
Keeping an eye out on social media got me various opportunities to earn by attending events, promoting content on my social media handles or posting product/service reviews on my blog. However, my sincere advice to every blogger out there would be to choose integrity over money and promote only that content which you stand for. Misleading your followers will have an adverse impact in the long run. I refused a few lucrative sponsored projects/promotions for this very reason because I strongly believe that credibility is one of the most important qualities of an influencer.
Quite a few bloggers provide additional services on their blogs to add to their earnings. There are a range of options you can consider and attempt depending on your blog category.
You can offer paid newsletters to your subscribers or can add a tab on your blog for direct ads. Apart from this, you can include coaching/mentoring services on your area of expertise and can host paid webinars as well. The pricing, however, should be done judiciously because there is a sea of information available out there for one and all at the click of a button. Unless you have a unique selling point, people might not really be keen to shell out money for such services. Innovative thinking and methodical execution of your ideas is what will take you ahead.
For your blog to appear in the top search results on Internet, there are a multitude of technical aspects that need to be taken care of apart from the content.
Spend your valuable resources to patiently understand concepts like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to improve your blog ranking. There is a lot that goes behind what is visible to the blog visitors which may not matter to them but plays a huge role in getting traffic to the blog. This is also linked to the revenue from Adsense because traffic that comes from search engines helps to get better returns from Adsense. Not only this but a higher ranking in the search results also catches the attention of advertisers who might want to approach you for placing their ads on your blog or for other brand alliances.
You can look for freelance projects on websites like Upwork and Fiverr which require bloggers to develop content for various brands and organizations in the sphere that they are proficient in. The advantage of freelancing is that you don’t have to fret about other factors and can just focus on performing research and developing your content. You get paid once you have submitted your deliverables according to the contract. This also, sometimes, opens up newer opportunities when you least expect them. Like in my case, I had once worked on a project with an NGO which recommended my profile to another organization that had a similar requirement.
In a nutshell, there is no one-shot solution to make money blogging. Following the above suggestions in parallel with commitment and diligence may not earn you a fortune, but can make blogging a dependable revenue source for you undoubtedly.
Image source: shutterstock
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Multiple award winning blogger, influencer, author, multi-faceted entrepreneur, creative writing mentor, choreographer, social activist
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